North Korea Trains

North Korea Trains


In 1899, Japan built North Korea's first railway Gyeongin Line (Seoul - Incheon). Subsequently, Japan built the Gyeongui Line (Seoul - Sinuiju) and the Gyeongbu Line (Seoul - Busan). By the end of World War II in 1945, there were 6,347 km of railways on the Korean Peninsula. In 1948, the total length of the North Korean railway reached 3766.8 km, restoring the railway that was damaged during World War II. At present, the total length of North Korea’s railway is 4,500 km, and the electrified railway is 2,000 km.

Train Speed

The average train speed is only 40 to 50 kilometers per hour in North Korea. And due to lack of power, single-track rails, aging trains and the rails, train delays are quite common. And it is said that the train in North Korea only departs till all the passengers are boarded, so even the departure time could be delayed due to one or two late passengers. From Sinuiju to Pyongyang, the distance is about 200 kilometers. The North Korean train normally takes 5-6 hours, in case of any delay, the journey time could be 7-8 hours. Even though the train speed is slow and delay is frequent, since North Korea's road and air transport are underdeveloped, most people still rely on trains for the long distance travels.

How to Book Train Ticket in North Korea

Since independent travelers are not allowed to take train or bus in North Korea, there is no chance for you to book ticket and take the domestic train by yourself in North Korea at present. The only train you could experience is from Beijing or Dandong to Pyongyang.

Now, taking a guided tour is the only option for travelers to visit North Korea. Your travel agency will book the train tickets from Beijing or Dandong to Pyongyang for you. If you don’t want to spend one night of 14 hours on the train from Beijing to Dandong, then you could book high speed train ticket for this leg online (our website offers professional ticket booking service), then join to your tour at Dandong.

Train and Ticket Types

There is no high speed train in North Korea, only normal trains are available. For the train from Beijing / Dandong to Pyongyang, soft and hard sleepers are available. The carriages and beds are mostly like the normal trains in China. One soft sleeper cabin offers two lower berths and two upper berths. One hard sleeper cabin contains two lower, two middle and two upper berths.

Pyongyang Metro

There are two metro lines in Pyongyang, Chollima Line (Line 1) and Hyoksin Line (Line 2). So far, the subway system is about 34 kilometers long and has a total of 17 stations. International tourist could not take the metro independently. After 2013, the North Korean government allowed tourists accompanied with tour guide to take six stations on the Chollima Line.
North Korean leader Kim Il Sung launched the world’s deepest subway system in 1966. With the support from China, the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries, Pyongyang imitated the Beijing and Moscow subways and started the construction in year 1968. Some of the stations reach 200 meters underground, and the average depth is 100 meters. Therefore, in addition to transportation, the Pyongyang subway system also functions as a bomb shelter for possible wars.

- Last updated on Oct. 22, 2020 -
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